MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – The outpouring of sympathy and support continues for a family that was devastated by a weekend fire in McKeesport.
A makeshift memorial continues to grow outside the home where a woman, her four children and her disabled father-in-law lost their lives.
Last night, hundreds of people paid their respects during a candlelight vigil.
Laverne Egenlauf said she is thankful for the turnout. She lost her husband, daughter-in-law and step-grandchildren in the fire. Her son, Keith, is fighting for his life in the hospital.
“Unbelievable, overwhelming. Very unbelievable. I didn’t know so many people cared,” Laverne said.
Keith suffered burns to over 55 percent of his body. His mother says doctors have been keeping him sedated. However, she says he did open up his eyes for the first time on Sunday.
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said the community does care about the family.
“This community is made up of so many wonderful people. It’s a tight-knit community. When things like this happen, they stand up and show their support,” Mayor Cherepko said.
Cherepko also attended the vigil and said the city is behind the family 100 percent.
“They’re talking about different fundraisers they may have. The city will work with them to provide facilities for fundraisers to take place,” Cherepko said.
The family says they need help paying for all six funerals. Hope Egenlauf and her four children lost their lives.
Hope’s father-in-law, Ron Egenlauf, who was wheelchair-bound, also lost his life.
The family set up a fundraiser online here: http://www.gofundme.com/fzimns. Their goal is to raise $20,000.
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